The Force Is Strong In Public Ridicule: Lucas Backs Down From Threats Against Wicked Lasers

from the your-skills-are-now-complete dept

A month ago, we covered the news that Lucasfilm was threatening Wicked Lasers over one of their recent lasers. The problem wasn’t anything the company had done specifically, but the fact that various blogs, in talking about the laser, had compared it to the infamous lightsaber from Star Wars. That didn’t make much sense. It’s not like if you make a fictional product that you get control over anything remotely like it in the real world. Lucasfilm was widely ridiculed for the C&D, and Wicked Lasers ended up auctioning off the C&D to raise funds for a legal fight. However, after seeing all the negative publicity, Lucasfilm backed down, amusingly pretending that Wicked Lasers had helped set the record straight:

“We are aware that, during this time you have made several statements to the media insisting that your product is not intended to resemble a lightsaber and is not marketed by your company as either a lightsaber or as having any connection with ‘Star Wars’ or Lucasfilm.”

Yes, but it’s also true that before the media storm Wicked Lasers still hadn’t made any statements suggesting its laser resembled a lightsaber, and it was never marketed as being a lightsaber or having any connection to Star Wars or Lucasfilm. This is just Lucasfilm’s attempt at gracefully admitting it made a mistake, while pretending something had “changed.” Either way, chalk one up for public ridicule getting a company to back down on a questionable legal attack.

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Companies: lucasfilm, wicked lasers

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Comments on “The Force Is Strong In Public Ridicule: Lucas Backs Down From Threats Against Wicked Lasers”

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Jay (profile) says:

The best part:

“He said sales have tripled, and Wicked has had to expand to a larger factory and double its customer support team.”

“This has been strange,” he said. “We felt that it would have been a very bad thing in the beginning, but it ended up helping the business in a very big way.”

Publicity you just can’t buy. Now all Jedi lasers are going to be Wicked Lasers in the future.

BruceLD says:


Yes, but in the end it’s Lucas Arts lawyers that probably created the massive hysteria within the company, the bosses were instantly in a huff and they had to go and protect their imaginary copyright.

Naturally, the lawyers were probably the ones to initiate the whole thing seeing that they needed to make themselves look like they are useful, important and worth keeping around.

In the end, Lucas Arts lawyers turned a very healthy profit and extracted it from Lucas Arts. Not a penny was extracted from the alleged copyright infringer.

YAY for the Lucas Arts lawyers!

ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:

Re: Subject

They were obviously using Google Alerts (or somesuch) and didn’t even realize that the ‘lightsaber’ descriptions were applied by various websites and not the company in question.

“Lucas Arts Lawyer” has got to be a super cushy job. Play minesweeper, check Google Alerts, send a threatening letter, play minesweeper, awkward meeting, tell PR to cover your ass, play minesweeper, cash paycheck.

Phil says:

Re: Perhaps LucasFilm's lawyer could enLighten us

I wonder if Mr. David Anderman, Esq. has some free time to come and explain the legal basis of LucasFilm’s complaint.
Perhaps it was a trademark issue. Perhaps the public might have been confused into believing that make-believe had come to life. Perhaps a 5 year old moron in a hurry would think a real laser was a light-saber.

Gos says:

Here is a company clearly attempting to make use of a Star Wars connection in it’s marketing:

Slogan: May the Forze Be With You.

Their mail flyer has the owner dressed as Obi Wan claiming to slash the dark side of your air conditioning system. The front has a picture of Princess Leia.

Of course it could all be officially licensed I suppose.

Personally I thought it was a pretty catchy ad. I put it on my refrigerator. Oddly enough it had no effect on how much I enjoy the movies or my purchase of legitimate Lucasfilm products.

Richard (profile) says:

Galaxy Quest

Interesting to speculate on the legal arguments that could have happened if the plot of Galaxy Quest had occurred in real life.

From the Wikipedia plot summary:

Seventeen years after the show was canceled, at a Galaxy Quest convention hosted by Guy and full of costumed fans, Jason is approached by a group of people whose leader, Mathesar (Colantoni), claims that they are aliens called “Thermians”. Jason allows them to take him to what he assumes will be an amateur filming session, but the Thermians really are aliens, octopoidal creatures using “appearance generators” to make themselves appear human. Being so naïve as to have no concept of fiction, they have mistaken broadcasts of Galaxy Quest as “historical documents”, built a full-size working version of the NSEA Protector (the show’s spaceship) and invented real versions of the other technologies portrayed in the show.

Anonymous Coward says:

Did they reimburse his legal fees? Hell no. Another corp pushing it’s damn weight around. They want to sue I say bring it on. Go to the media ands report their excesses. Use your cameras and report. Use the blogs and report. Don’t let any of them get away with anything. We are the only protection we have against the bully corps. The government will never help you. We’re on our own to control our own destinies.

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